Locals erect Mercy House walls

Locals erect Mercy House walls

Last Saturday local guys spent the day erecting the walls on the Mercy House. I can’t thank these men enough for their hard work and dedicated service to their community. All of them lost their homes in the storm. In the past few years they have rebuilt their own homes while putting in long hours holding down their jobs and providing for their families and also pitching in to help their neighbors and friends.

While we owe an unspeakable debt of gratitude to volunteers from across the country for contributing to the progress of the relief, recovery, and rebuilding efforts – we would be nowhere without the grit and determination of local men like these. Even a monster like Katrina could not scare them off their land or make them shrink from their responsibilities to their families and community. They epitomize the resolve and resilience of the gulf coast. They are my heroes.

Locals erect Mercy House walls

Locals erect Mercy House walls

Locals erect Mercy House walls

Locals erect Mercy House walls

Locals erect Mercy House walls

Locals erect Mercy House walls

Resolution On Adoption And Orphan Care

Our local newspaper, The Sea Coast Echo, reported this week that we have 163 children in the county foster care system with only 12 licensed foster care homes. This crisis drives me to prayer. How can we as believers in Hancock County Mississippi, confront this situation with the gospel? Russell Moore’s resolution at this years Southern Baptist Convention offers a challenge.

RESOLUTION NO. 2 ON ADOPTION AND ORPHAN CARE – SBC 2009

WHEREAS, In the gospel we have received the “Spirit of adoption” whereby we are no longer spiritual orphans but are now beloved children of God and joint heirs with Christ (John 14:18; Romans 8:12-25; Galatians 3:27-4:9; Ephesians 1:5); and

WHEREAS, The God we now know as our Father reveals himself as a “father of the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5) who grants mercy to orphans (Deuteronomy 10:18; Hosea 14:3); and

WHEREAS, Our Lord Jesus welcomes the little ones (Luke 18:15-17), pleads for the lives of the innocent (Psalm 72:12-14), and shows us that we will be held accountable for our response to “the least of these brothers of mine” (Matthew 25:40); and

WHEREAS, The Scripture defines “pure and undefiled religion” as “to look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27); and

WHEREAS, The satanic powers and the ravages of sin have warred against infants and children from Pharaoh to Molech to Herod and, now, through the horrors of a divorce culture, an abortion industry, and the global plagues of disease, starvation, and warfare; and
WHEREAS, Southern Baptists have articulated an unequivocal commitment to the sanctity of all human life, born and unborn; and

WHEREAS, Churches defined by the Great Commission must be concerned for the evangelism of children—including those who have no parents; and

WHEREAS, Upward of 150 million orphans now languish without families in orphanages, group homes, and placement systems in North America and around the world; and

WHEREAS, Our Father loves all of these children, and a great multitude of them will never otherwise hear the gospel of Jesus Christ; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, June 23-24, 2009, express our commitment to join our Father in seeking mercy for orphans; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on each Southern Baptist family to pray for guidance as to whether God is calling them to adopt or foster a child or children; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage our pastors and church leaders to preach and teach on God’s concern for orphans; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we commend churches and ministries that are equipping families to provide financial and other resources to those called to adopt, through grants, matching funds, or loans; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage local churches to champion the evangelism of and ministry to orphans around the world, and to seek out ways to energize Southern Baptists behind this mission; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage Southern Baptist churches to join with other evangelical Christians in setting aside a special Sunday each year to focus upon our adoption in Christ and our common burden for the orphans of the world; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we pray what God is doing in creating an adoption culture in so many churches and families can point us to a gospel oneness that is determined not by “the flesh,” or race, or economics, or cultural sameness, but by the Spirit, unity, and peace in Christ Jesus; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we pray for an outpouring of God’s Spirit on Southern Baptist congregations so that our churches will proclaim and picture, in word and in deed, that “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.”

UPDATE: I meant to publish this to my personal blog, Locusts and Wild Honey, but inadvertently posted it here on Rebuild Lakeshore. I’m going to leave a copy here as well, because this site receives much more traffic than my own. Let me use this as an opportunity to ask our partners from all across the country to join us in prayer as we face this challenge here in our county. Let me also urge you to investigate the situation in your city or county and prayerfully consider what you may do to fulfill James 1:27 in your life.

Let me also recommend the book Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches by Dr. Russ Moore.

Bunk House Progress

The Lakeshore Bunk House

The bunk house construction continues to move forward. this week volunteers painted the two main rooms and hung sheet rock in the bathrooms. They are laying the concrete board for the floors now, in preparation for the tile.

We plan to print a name, city, and state on each piling for churches donating at least $1,500 toward this project. So far we have 7 sponsoring churches. We have 13 unnamed pilings, so if you would like to have your church included, let us know.

Also, individuals or families donating $200, or more, can sponsor one of the 38 beds. So far we have 18 beds accounted for. The remaining 20 beds need sponsors in order for us to complete the project.

Having your church name on one of the pilings or your name on one of the beds will serve as a wonderful testimony to God’s people from across the country flooding to the gulf coast to minister help and hope in the name of Jesus Christ. Thank you so much for your help with this.

The Ministry Continues

If you have been following the Rebuild Lakeshore efforts, you know that back in February the Hancock County Planning and Zoning Commission ruled that we needed to remove all temporary structures on our church property by May 31. This eviction would have included all our buildings being used to host volunteers as well as our primary worship space. In late May, we went before the commission again asking for an extension. They denied our request. We appealed that decision to the Hancock County Board of Supervisors.

This morning the board held a public hearing to determine the fate of our church property camp site in Lakeshore. We arrived this morning to an almost standing room only venue. I came with a short prepared speech detailing the positive impact of our ministry for the community at multiple levels, outlining our current and future ministry plans, and ready to plead our case before the board. Several others were prepared to speak on our behalf as well.

At our point on the docket the board president, Rocky Pullman, announced the Lakeshore Baptist Church issue on the agenda. I came forward and he asked me to introduce myself and state our business. Before I could begin, our district #1 supervisor, David Yarborough, spoke up and said something along the lines of,

” Hold on Brother Don, I think I can make this quick. I think we all know how much Lakeshore Baptist Church has done for this community. When the storm destroyed their church buildings and all of Lakeshore, they could have spent the time and effort to rebuild their own facilities. Instead they put the community first and have been helping others non-stop. I think we all agree that we should give them the time necessary to rebuild their own buildings and continue doing this good work. I move we grant their request.”

A quick second accompanied the rest of the boards nods of approval. The moderator acknowledged Yarborough’s input, but added that a public hearing exists to hear the voice of the community. He asked if anyone else was present regarding this issue. In unison, most of the room stood to its feet; creating an impressive showing. Some of the board chuckled under their breath. He then asked if anyone stood against the motion. No one flinched. I’m not sure if it was the board’s attorney, Ronnie Artigues, or our County Administrator, Tim Keller, or who, but someone said, “I think we can just vote.”

“District #1?” – “Yes.” “District 2?” “Yes.” “District 3?” “Yes”…. all the way down the line. Unanimous. I heard a big sigh of relief from the folks behind me as all the members of the board expressed their gratitude of our ongoing work in the county. To God be the glory.

We can now continue moving forward with the relief, recovery, and rebuilding efforts without missing a beat. I want to thank everyone who joined us in prayer concerning this issue. Can anyone doubt that God is in control of all things for the spread of His fame?

June 2009

Mission Trip June 2009

I do not have enough time in the day to even begin listing everything that God accomplished through hard working volunteer teams this past month. All of the homes we have been working on made progress toward completion. We started another new home this month and so many other things. We made some huge strides on the church property. A beautiful board walk stretching from one side of the property to the other replaced the precarious make-shift pallet walk way we have been using. A privacy fence now adorns the east side of the bunk house property and the pilings have been set for the mercy house. Volunteers from across the country pushed through the blazing Mississippi summer heat with rejoicing. We still have a long summer ahead of us so keep us in your prayers as we continue to Rebuild Lakeshore to the glory of God.

The following teams worked with us in June and deserve a heartfelt thank-you:

  1. Central Baptist Church – Decatur,Al
  2. Chapel Pointe Church – Hudsonville, MI
  3. Crossroads Community Church – Naperville, IL
  4. East Harselle Baptist Church – Hartselle, AL
  5. Emmanuel Baptist Church – Forrest City, AR
  6. Eskridge Baptist Church – Winona, MS
  7. First Baptist Church – Winona, MS
  8. Friendship Baptist Church, Grenada, MS
  9. Georgia Baptist Collegiate Ministry
  10. Hebron Baptist Church – Scranton, SC
  11. Kilmichael Baptist Church, Kilmichael, MS
  12. Lakeside Community Church of the Nazarene – Edensburg, PA
  13. Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, Carrollton, MS
  14. North Carrollton Baptist Church, North Carrollton, MS
  15. North Winona Baptist Church, Winona, MS
  16. Pollok Baptist Church – Pollok, TX
  17. The Oaks Baptist Church – Lyons, GA
  18. Union Baptist Church – Pamplico, SC
  19. University Place Presbyterian Church – Tacoma, WA
  20. Vaiden Baptist Church, Vaiden, MS
  21. Vriesland Reformed Church – Vriesland, MI
  22. West View Baptist Church – Cookeville, TN

Mission Trip June 2009

Mission Trip June 2009

Mission Trip June 2009

Mission Trip June 2009

Mission Trip June 20098

Mission Trip June 2009

Mission Trip June 2009

Mission Trip June 2009

Mission Trip June 2009

Mission Trip June 2009